On My Year of Yes

year of yes

On My Year of Saying Yes

I must be honest – I have not read Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes yet, BUT I am third on the list at the library. Now I did see her on Oprah, so I am not totally ignorant of her message. Basically, it is to step out and say yes to opportunities presented.

Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good mechanism for saying no, so, I thought, with the beginning of a new year, this “yes thing” might be just the ticket.  I realized that opportunities presented themselves to me all the time – movies, exhibits, parties, classes, lectures. And my first reaction in most cases was “that sounds nice.” But then (and isn’t there always a but then…) somehow life always got in the way- it was too far to drive, I didn’t feel like getting dressed, I told myself that I’d follow up on it later – and if I remembered it, most times it was too late – the exhibit had closed, the lecture had passed, the movie had left.

So it’s not the yes I have trouble with. It’s the actual doing that presents a challenge. Yes, I’d love to see that play. Then, on that afternoon, it just felt too cozy to stay at home. My book called to me with a louder siren call than getting dressed and heading out. Well, one time that may be just fine, but it is a slippery slope and I had slid way past the Angle of Repose (which is also the title of one of the books I chose to stay home and read rather than go out).

But no more – or at least not so much. Since my declaration, heretofore only to myself, that this would be my year of following up on that YES, I’ve gone to two parties, attended a showing of the Bolshoi’s Lady of the Camellias, bought tickets to see Beautiful, seen an exhibit of Bodies Revealed, as well as an exhibit of American Impressionist paintings on the day before it closed and enrolled in a class on History and Identity on Screen. And it’s still January!

Now I’m not saying that I’ll keep up this pace of actually doing things that “sound nice.” My life has other focuses that don’t fall into that “say yes” category. But these few weeks have made me realize that once I take that second step, the rest is easy, or at least not impossible.

And now I must close; I’m on my way to see Spotlight.

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com  author of Another Sunday